I have a confession to make. At the ripe age of three, my child has watched YouTube videos. In my defense, I limit the amount of screen time he gets, and he only has access to preschool-appropriate videos on the YouTube Kids app. However, even with these precautions, there are some videos I think I should warn you about.
Fellow moms, if your child has not yet experienced this thing called YouTube, protect yourself now! The videos I am about to describe are equally addicting for your child as much as they will be annoying for you.
Consider yourself warned.
1. The Surprise Egg Videos
In the surprise egg video, a set of hands (usually adult) have several foil-wrapped eggs on a table. They show the characters on the foil before they say “I wonder what’s inside?” as they shake the egg. Then, they unwrap the egg to reveal a hollow chocolate egg. They shake the chocolate egg, break it, discard the chocolate (I know! The waste!!), to reveal a plastic container. Inside the plastic container is a miniature toy along the lines of the characters on the foil wrapping.
These videos usually show egg after egg opened as an adult narrates the foil unwrapping, chocolate smashing, plastic container opening process. Unfortunately, these eggs cannot be found in any store in the U.S. so if you’re planning to re-create the magical egg-opening experience at home, you are out of luck.
2. The Family Finger Song Videos
The Family Finger Song videos feature a family of some variety–actors dressed like different characters, animated superheroes, animated animals, etc.–and the Family Finger Song. In case you’re unfamiliar with the song, here’s the first line:
“Daddy finger, Daddy finger where are you?
Here I am! Here I am! How do you do?”
The song goes through all members of the family, displaying each family member on a different finger. The upside is your child will encounter several different families. I’ve seen a family of Spidermen in varying colors, a family of amateur-animated tigers, and a family of adults dressed in Sesame Street costumes. The downside is the song plays over and over and over and over. It is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave. For instance, as I type about this song, it is playing in my head.
3. Nursery Rhyme Videos
From the sounds of it, you would think a Nursery Rhyme video would be pretty good. Wrong. These channels usually take creative liberties with beloved classics. I’ve heard a song about farm animals saying “roll over,” wheels on a spooky Halloween bus, and endless types of animals and superheroes jumping on the bed.
4. Toy Review Videos
We have not had cable in years, so I thought we had successfully escaped the “Mommy! I want that because I saw it on a commercial!” Enter Toy Review videos. In these videos, children open the latest toys (after some coaxing from their behind-the-scenes parents) and play with the toys. That’s right. Why have your child play with their own toys when they can watch other kids play with toys on YouTube? Even better, your child will quickly learn about each of those toys then ask for them by name in the store.
5. Play Doh Videos
The Play Doh videos are similar to the Toy Review videos because they feature someone playing with a toy. The difference is the Play Doh videos usually include adults playing with every Play Doh set imaginable. Sometimes these videos branch out and include the features of the other videos. For example, instead of a foil-wrapped surprise egg, you could watch a Play Doh-covered egg. If you ever want to kill a few hours of your time, just watch some videos of another adult squishing around Play Doh, reliving the childhood dream.
Consider Yourself Warned
I’ve highlighted only the top five types of videos you’ll want your kids to avoid. If anything, do it for the sake of your sanity.